Bargarh (Odisha), Feb.8 (ANI): Police in Odisha's Bargarh area have launched a civic action programme, which is Maoist affected.
The programme is aimed at combatting left wing extremism and to bridge the gap between villagers and security personnel.
Recently, police in Padampur subdivision organised a cricket match to win the confidence of the villagers.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Sanjay Singh said they organised the programme to provide a helping hand to the villagers.
"The main theme of this programme is 'Nua Man Nua Sapan' that means this year we will do something new. Our effort is to help people who face inconvenience by police. We have received complaints that the gap between the police and the locals have increased. We are trying to bridge this gap and we found that cricket is a very good and appropriate medium," said Singh.
Maoist rebels in India are rapidly expanding their insurgency and could move from remote rural areas to cities.
The rebels are estimated to have 22,000 fighters, and have spread to more than 180 of the country's 630 districts from just 56 in 2001.
A villager, Babuloka, said: "I am feeling great and the gap between the locals and police is closing. We are very happy and appreciate the police for taking this initiative. The fear of Maoists is reducing and people are trying have confidence in the police."
Police also organised dance and drama competitions to boost the confidence of the villagers.
Last year, the Maoists carried out at least 1,000 attacks, but most of these were in remote jungles and villages.
The Maoists, who say they are fighting for the rights of the poor and landless, control some of India's mineral-rich areas and operate in large swathes of the eastern, central and southern India.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has described the Maoist rebellion as one of the gravest security threats to India. (ANI)